The New York region's post-September 11 economic geography

James W. Hughes, Marla K. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Prior to the terrorist attack on September 11, the forces of economic decentralization in the broad New York metropolitan region were still ongoing, but at a less intense pace compared to the 1970s and 1980s. But the attacks directly destroyed 13.4 million square feet of World Trade Center office space from the Lower Manhattan market, space that is not likely to be replaced in this decade. This inventory destruction, when combined with the sheer physical disruption to corporate operations and the traumatic human losses, is likely to cause renewed long-term decentralization in the region. A new locational strategy, particularly for the region's major financial firms, appears to be emerging: the avoidance of excessive concentration of human and physical resources. This implies a regional decentralized framework that goes beyond the dispersion of back office functions to the segmentation of a firm's higher-level activities. This is a different strategy of place, one of distributed workplaces on different power and telecommunication grids to ensure business continuity in the face of disaster. The suburban ring, Midtown Manhattan and select core locations such as Jersey City, should be the economic beneficiaries of this change, adding pressure on the suburban ring's congested highway infrastructure as well as on the overburdened rail lines converging on Midtown Manhattan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-42
Number of pages16
JournalTransportation Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Transportation


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